Post # 1
So DH and I might be getting the opportunity to relocate to Portland/Vancouver for about a year with his company (we find out by the end of next week, hopefully!).
We bought a house here in Atlanta last March so we’ve been in it for a little over a year now. If we get to relocate, we’d like to rent it out to someone we know so that someone can look after it while we’re gone (vs. it just sitting empty). We agree that we won’t rent it to a stranger and we won’t even try to come cost to covering all the house expenses (mortgage + utilities) with the rent. We have two different couples and 1 single guy who have all expressed interest.
The specs: It is a 1 year old home (we bought a new build) with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and 2750 sq. ft. There are hardwoods on the main floor, a fenced-in yard with both a deck and patio, and a finished basement with pool table. We’d be renting it out mostly furnished because we’ll be getting a tiny apartment if we relocate and won’t have space for most of our furniture.
We’ve decided to charge a flat $1100/month which would cover rent + all utilities/lawn care. So looking at the utility costs, it is basically $550 in rent and $550 in utilities (I know – a steal! Like I said, we just don’t want it to sit empty. We aren’t trying to make money).
So here is where DH and I disagree. I’d like to offer up use of all of the house except for the master bedroom and bath (so it would basically become a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house to the renters). I view my master bedroom and bathroom as DH’s and my private space and, since we’d be coming back in a year, I just feel odd allowing someone else to make it their private space when there are plenty of other bedrooms and bathrooms for them to use. Heck – our guest bathroom upstairs even has a double vanity so it isn’t like they wouldn’t have space! DH says he doesn’t feel comfortable charging someone $1100/month and not letting them use the master since it is the biggest bedroom and the nicest bathroom. But since only $550 of that is the technical rent and they are getting such a steal, I don’t agree.
So who do you guys think is right here? Am I being unreasonable to think it is okay to rent out the house but restrict use of the master bedroom and bathroom? Or is that ok since it is our private space that we’ll be returning to and the renters are getting such a steal of a price?
Post # 3
I don’t know if it’s a good idea to let the sink and toilet just sit for a year without being used. That’s one thing to think about.
What about allowing them to use it, but not set up personally? You know, have a handtowel and soap in there, but not all their toiletries, etc?
Post # 4
when they sign that lease, it’s their house for the year and you can’t put a third of it off-limits.
Post # 5
I think whatever you and the renters can agree on is ok. Some people rent only rooms out. You can see your rental agreement like that, where you are renting out 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and the common areas.
Post # 6
I VOTED for OBLIGATORY OTHER.
I have to agree with the points made by the Posters above me… AB Bride: & fishbone: & SoupyCat: as THEY ARE ALL VALID
You can word the Rental Agreement however you like… including saying that the rooms for Rent are Bedroom B, C, and D
BUT ultimately you’ll have very little control over the fact if someone chooses to “sleep over” in Bedroom A
(I get where you are coming from… as to your PRIVATE SPACE … that would gross me out too… )
You might want to just bite the bullet, charge more for rent… and lol, put aside a portion of it to cover things when you return home (beyond general maintenance)
Paint – Things that get damaged by the Renters (and this will happen) – a NEW Mattress – and some Sheeets, Towels, Linens etc (if you are leaving those behind too)
Hope this helps,
Post # 7
@This Time Round: My thought was that we could put a lock on the master bedroom door. So we could limit them letting someone sleep there.
But as I said above, we are only considering renting to friends and I’d trust all of them to stick to the agreement of not using that room if that is what we ultimately decided to do.
Post # 8
Personally I find it a bit silly to think of your bedroom as sacred, but I own a 100 year old house. Maybe you could not offer that room as furnished- store your bed & stuff in the garage. That way it is only the walls and floor that are absorbing nonsense by tenants?
Post # 9
TO @Mrs.KMM: a lock won’t really work, because as AB Bride: alluded to, there should be access to the space for air circulation, someone to flush the loo from time to time, turn on a tap, be able to visually SEE that all is well etc.
If there was an issue, and you didn’t have someone who could have access to it (or had done something to prevent it)… then that could be an insurance issue… and you’d be SOOL if anything was to go wrong BIG TIME.
I’d either rent out the whole place, or just 3 Bedrooms… with a “Gentleman’s Agreement” that they’ll respect your wishes…
BUT just the same, I’d be saving up for things I’d want to change out once they were gone.
Renters… even Friends… will NEVER take care of your stuff as well as you will… so be prepared to be disappointed on that front (and have a kitty to cover that stuff sadly… )
Hope this helps,
Post # 10
If you’re going to rent out your house, it needs to be the whole house. If you’re not comfortable with that, you probably shouldn’t be renting it out. If you want to increase the rent to account for the extra space, I think that’s fine. But yeah, not okay to have parts of the house be “off limits”.
Post # 11
Your utilities are $550 a month?! Wow. I’ve never had to pay to cool almost 3000 sq ft though, so there you go!
I think you can do whatever you want, but I do think it is really weird to keep the master bedroom off limits. If they aren’t sleeping in your bed, and the place is professionally cleaned before you move back in, I don’t see the issue?
Post # 12
You can write whatever you want in the rental agreement. You just have to find someone to agree to it.
Personally, I kind of get what you’re saying IF you’re leaving it furnished/decorated the way you guys have it- it would be sort of weird having someone else live in that space. And there is plenty of space left for them to use. But I also don’t know if your friends would think it’s fine. Most people aren’t like that- back when I was babysitting overnight I slept in the master (2 bdr apt) and it was nbd. Since it sounds like you have a fair amount of free money, why not take all the furniture/stuff out of the master so it’s basically just bare walls and curtains, and put that stuff in a storage unit for the duration? Once you get it cleaned and move your stuff back in, it won’t feel like anyone else has been there.
And definitely don’t put a lock on the door- PP are right that you would be SCREWED if something happened and the renters couldn’t get repairmen in to take care of it.
Post # 13
@crayfish: That $550 is gas, electric, cable, internet, water, and lawn care. So it covers a lot. And we’d be leaving it all furnished so they would be using our bed if they stayed there. I think that’s why I find it odd to allow it.
@This Time Round: and @kgirl91: My thought with the lock is that my in-laws live close and they would have a key so that if access was needed for a repair, they could get in but it wouldn’t be open all the time. But what you guys are saying does make sense.
@kgirl91: We would be leaving it furnished and decorated so I do think that is part of why it would feel odd to me. Maybe we just ought to leave that room empty and then it wouldn’t feel so much like “our” space.
Post # 14
@Mrs.KMM: As a landlord (who does rent to strangers), you are perfectly within your rights to rent out rooms or select spaces as opposed to the whole house (one house I rent is a triplex and it is very clearly divided). It would be tough since they would technically have “access” to that space, but just include a line in the lease about it (please sign a lease – friends or not).
The rental properities I rent out, I will never live in. I don’t consider them “home” or have any emotional attachment to any of the spaces. I can completely understand why you wouldn’t want someone in “your” space, especially because you will be coming back. If it was a straight rental property, I’m sure you wouldn’t care, but since it will still remain your family home, I would make the same decision (especially because you are not even breaking even with the rent, let alone making a profit).
Post # 15
@MrsPanda99: Oh – we’ll definitely be signing a lease. We had friends rent a bedroom from us and we put together a lease for that. When I’m leaving my whole house and won’t even be around to keep an eye on things, I’ll be making sure the rules and expectations are laid out and signed off on.
I think you really hit this nail on the head for what I’m thinking though. This isn’t just a rental property to me. It is our family home (and will continue to be our family home once we return in a year). So there is different emotional attachment than if it was just a rental property.
Post # 16
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
@Mrs.KMM: I’ve rented vacation homes before where parts of the house were locked off, but those parts weren’t included in the rental description or agreement. No problem.
I think you are perfectly within your right to do this provided that your rent is still fair market value for the size home you are now renting out. At 1100 furnished with utilities included, its obviously well below market.